The 3 Most Common Reasons Why Patients Miss Their Appointments | 10to8 Doctor Scheduling Software

It’s a fact that no-shows happen everyday and some of them can’t be avoided. But what about the ones that could have been avoided? What are the most common reasons for missing appointments and how do you set up patient reminders to actually make them work?

“I completely forgot!”

If you have a long waiting list for an appointment, then patients would be expected to book an appointment a week or so in advance, and unfortunately in many cases this can be enough time for a patient to completely forget about it. Of course, patients could set a reminder for themselves in their own calendar, however, if they don’t do so immediately after they left the practice, then there’s a high chance that they’ll forget. In fact, it’s estimated that in the UK alone there were more than 10 million GP missed appointments last year.

“Was that today?”

One of the most common reasons that patients miss their appointments is due to them getting the time and date of the actual booking mixed up. It’s a surprisingly common occurrence, which could be partly due to patients browsing and choosing a slot from an array of available times and dates. Of course, even if they recall the date, they may get the time wrong. With no-shows comes cancellations and the headache of rescheduling for health professionals, and of course, the frustration of having a no-show in the first place.

“I won’t make it!”

Automated patient reminders solve the first two problems. Mostly. When reminders are sent rashly, they may not have the desired result of avoiding a potential no-show.. Patients mentioned that when they receive an SMS or email reminder of the upcoming appointment 1 hour prior to it, it is often too late. They might not check their messages too often or getting the the doctor’s office might take longer. So they don’t even try to make it to your office at all.

Is there a solution?

Every practice is different, but there are a few tips that can help set up your medical scheduling software. A fact is that people are more likely to check their text messages than emails, so SMS reminders are more effective. To make sure that your patients show up, set a series of reminders. Depending on what you are specialized in and how long your clients should queue, 2 or 3 notifications should be fine. You need to tackle the frequency, but for example reminders one week, one day and 2-3 hours prior to the appointment should work well. If you don’t have a medical scheduling software yet, but you would like to get started with patient reminders, sign up for 10to8 appointment booking system for free and start running your practice seamlessly today!

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Anna is an enthusiastic Digital Marketer, who drinks her coffee with cream and trending hashtags. She loves a fun fact about koalas, listening to and speaking on insightful SaaS podcasts, and creating content that ranks high on the SERP. Connect with her on Linkedin.

Anna Kocsis

Head of Marketing, 10to8 Appointment Scheduling Software

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